In this exhibit, we explore the fascinating way that the drive for profit shapes the music industry, and yet, how musicians find ways to thwart these confines. Inspired by Black Marxist thinkers like Cedric Robinson, we uncover how this system—focused on making money through private ownership—doesn't just influence who gets to produce music and how it's sold, but also how it can mirror and challenge societal norms, including issues of inequality.

Visit our exhibit in the Loeb Music Library to encounter Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong’s contracts, Ira Gershwin’s correspondence about his record label, tickets, programs, early punk anti-war flyers, and more. 

Please note: For the most up-to-date access policies and visitor guidance, please visit Harvard Library Visitor Access.

Persons with disabilities who would like to request accommodations or have questions about physical access, please contact Loeb Music Library Administrative Coordinator Patricia O’Brien,, 617-998-5314.